Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: First year at camp - bridging Webelos
Re: First year at camp - bridging Webelos
Sat, 13 Feb 1999 12:52:39 EST
In a message dated 2/13/99 3:58:15 AM Central Standard Time,
<< I also remember reading on the Scouts-L LIst that summer camp for new boy
scouts is CRITICAL to their staying in scouts (second only to advancement in
that first year). Any thoughts on this?
Also, the BSA literature (SM Handbook primarily) suggests that Scouts should
get to First Class in give or take, one year. Is this usual in your troops?
A reasonable goal? How does that translate in number of activities? >>
You excellent questions get right to the heart of the Scouting program. I
suggest you pick up a copy of the BSA publication entitled Are You Delivering
the Promise? it is a free publication and is available at your local council
Your questions address the Troop program and planning process. The more
active a Troop is with both indoor and outdoor programs, the more available
opportunities are for advancement, the more interested the boys will be in
Scouting and likey to remain active.
Yes, it is critical to have those first year scouts at summer camp. The
retention rate for first year scouts attending summer camp is astronomical
compared to those that didn't attend. Our own Troop's experience is close to
90% retention for summer camp attendees vs. 40-50% for those that didn't.
Summer camp gives the scouts a chance to put the skills that were demonstrated
at Troop meetings into practice. The summer camp experience provides
unparalleled advancement opportunities. For some scouts, this may be the only
time they get to canoe, sail, fire a rifle or shoot a bow and arrow. The
patrol method is in full force. The scouts learn by doing. This experience
can never be duplicated with the Troop meeting.
First Class within a year is certainly attainable, if the scouts have attended
summer camp, but the Troop program needs to be focused on that goal. The
emphasis has to do with delivering the scout program as promised. Each rank
teaches skills that increase in difficulty as the scout advances. By the time
a scout is First Class he has a ladder of skills that he will need along the
Eagle trail and in life. This method teaches the scouts how to set and attain
goals, while allowing them to advance at a pace they are comfortable with.
For some (most) scouts this is acheivable, for some it is not. Some boys just
like being in the program and aren't really interested in advancing. The
important thing is that individual progress is monitored and the scouts are
not allowed to languish. Again a good outdoor program will provide the
opportunities needed for advancement.
Asst. SM Troop 98, Carol Stream IL
Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner, Hiawatha District, Three Fires Council